CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
UI English professor wins prestigious NEH Fellowship
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Judith Pascoe, an assistant professor of English
at the University of Iowa has emerged victorious in the stiff national
competition for a coveted National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship
for the 1998-99 academic year.
Pascoe was awarded the fellowship in order to spend a year in London
working on a book manuscript entitled "Romantic Acquisitions: The
Culture of Collecting." She will examine a variety of different kinds
of romantic-era collectors and collections -- including popular exhibitions,
early museums, commonplace books, fossil collectors, royal bibliophiles
-- and use the information as context to talk about characteristics of
romantic poetry, her area of specialty.
Pascoe's book will also discuss 20th Century collectors of romantic-era
archives, including Cedar Rapids businessman Luther Brewer who has amassed
a huge collection of books and manuscripts of Leigh Hunt, which is now
held in the UI Libraries' department of special collections.
"I'm fascinated with the way collectors of romantic books and manuscripts
tend to fetishize the bodies of romantic poets so that, for instance, Keats's
hair becomes a highly desirable item," Pascoe said.
Congressional cuts to the NEH budget have severely reduced the funds
available for these fellowships in recent years, tightening an already
"In this fiercely competitive environment for scholars in the humanities,
it is a testament to the strength of Professor Pascoe's scholarship to
be awarded this prestigious fellowship," said Linda Maxson, dean of
the College of Liberal Arts. "I am extremely proud of her success
and of the national recognition she has brought to the University of Iowa
and the College of Liberal Arts."
Pascoe earned her doctorate in English from the University of Pennsylvania
in 1992 and has been an assistant professor of English at the UI since
1993. Her most recent book, Romantic Theatricality : Gender, Poetry,
and Spectatorship, was published in 1997 by Cornell University Press. She
is also the editor of The Collected Poems of Mary Robinson, which
will be published next year by Broadview Press.